23 September 2017

India: Visit of Chief of the Air Staff to Australia

Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, Chief of the Air Staff is on an official visit to Australia from 19-22 Sep 17. The visit is intended to further strengthen the existing defence cooperation between the Air Forces of the two countries. 

During his stay, he is scheduled to hold talks with top brass of the Royal Australian Air Force on security challenges being faced by the two forces in the current geopolitical scenario and explore ways to deepen defence cooperation. The main focus of the visit is on improving bilateral relations, promoting defence ties and exploring further area of defence cooperation between the two Air Forces. 

During the visit, the CAS would visit the Headquarters of Royal Australian Air Force and operational air bases. 

News Report: Fake Evacuation Orders Sent to US Forces Korea, Families

US Army Warning of Fake Alert (Click Image to Enlarge)
Two days after US President Donald Trump threatened to destroy North Korea, a flurry of false evacuation orders were sent to US service members and their families stationed on the Korean Peninsula.

The alert, delivered through text messages and Facebook, read: "Real World Noncombatant evacuation operation order issued. All DoD family members and non-emergency essential DoD civilians on the Korean Peninsula an evacuation order has been issued."

The hoax was shut down by officials within an hour after being reported on Thursday, and US Forces Korea quickly issued their own statement saying "USFK did not issue this message."

News Report: US Supercarrier Starts New Drills With Japanese Navy South of Korean Peninsula

USS Ronald Reagan; A Nimitz class Aircraft Carrier
The 100,000-ton USS Ronald Reagan convened with one Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) helicopter carrier and two destroyers off the Korean Peninsula to conduct military exercises, the Japanese military said Friday.

The drills began September 11 in maritime areas to the south and west of the Japanese archipelago, according to a Friday JMSDF statement, and are slated to conclude September 28.

North Korea has carried out a flurry of ballistic missile and nuclear weapons tests in recent weeks in spite of new UN Security Council sanctions. On September 15, Japanese residents were urged to find cover as a North Korean ballistic missile soared by overhead. On September 3, Pyongyang conducted its most powerful nuclear test ever. Shortly before the nuke test, on August 29, a Hwasong-12 ballistic missile was launched from a site near Pyongyang, observed directly by leader Kim Jong-un as he puffed a cigarette and studied a map.

News Report: US to Shoot Down North Korea's Missile if It Flies Over Guam - State Dept

The US State Department stated that Washington will shoot down a North Korea's missile if it flies over the territory of Guam.

"If a missile targeted Guam or flew over it, we would have shot it down," US Assistant Secretary of State Susan Thornton said at a briefing for foreign journalists.

Reporters asked Thornton why the US does not respond (to) North Korea's missile launches, which violate the airspace and allies — Japan and South Korea.

Thornton recalled that this issue was previously cleared by US Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

She noted that now it is possible to determine exactly where the rocket will fly and where it will land. According to her, in Japan there are special alert systems for the civilian population.

News Report: India to Construct 108 Missile-Proof Hangars Along China Border

A proposal awaiting government approval since 2015 was strongly backed by the prime minister’s office in the aftermath of the recent border tensions with China.

New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Indian government has cleared a proposal for constructing next-generation hardened shelters for aircraft of the Indian Air Force deployed at the eastern and northeastern airfields that border China. The hangars are designed by the state-owned Defense Research and Development Organization.

The Indian Defense Ministry will initially release $150 million of the total estimated cost of $750 million for the proposed shelters, which can withstand missiles and bombs of up to 2,000 pounds.

The proposed shelters would dot forward areas including Leh, Ladakh and the northeastern states and would also cover the newly built advanced landing grounds — Tuting, Mechuka, Along, Passighat, Vijaynagar, and Ziro — along with the India-China border.

News Report: Trump, Moon Agree to Enhanced Deployment of US Assets in South Korea

US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed to deploy US strategic assets in and around South Korea on a rotational basis to tackle the North Korean threat.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, during a meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, agreed to deploy US strategic assets in South Korea as a way to counter the North Korean threat, the White House said in a press release.

"They also agreed to the enhanced deployment of US strategic assets in and around South Korea on a rotational basis," the release stated on Friday.

News Report: India's Defense Sector Prepares for 100% Foreign Direct Investment

FDI proposals for 100% have to be in areas where India lacks either the existing capabilities or is not even developing it.

NEW DELHI (Sputnik) — India is planning to further liberalize its defense sector by allowing 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in projects. The move is mainly aimed at curtailing the striking slowdown in the defense sector which has failed to attract huge investments in recent years despite the introduction of sweeping reforms in defense investment rules.

Disclosing the government's agenda, defense ministry officials said that 100 percent FDI would be allowed in cases where foreign firms would be willing for the complete transfer of technology.

"The government of India would be open to considering 100 percent FDI in defense, should the company be willing to provide full technology transfer," Ashok Kumar Gupta, India's Secretary of Defense Production was quoted as saying during his interaction with representatives of US corporate sector.

News Report: Kremlin Calls for Restraint Amid US, North Korea Rage

Russia is sticking to a political and a diplomatic resolution to the North Korean issue, calling on all the parties involved to avoid further provocations and escalation amid North Korea mulling a hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia insists there is no alternative to diplomacy as means of resolution to the situation on the Korean peninsula, another path may have catastrophic consequences, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

The statement was made after North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho had suggested that the nation's leader might be mulling a hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific after their row with the United States escalated this week. 

The North's top diplomat added he had no idea what Kim Jong Un's exact plans were, after he warned the United States of a "high-level" countermeasure, in response to the US president's recent threats. 

News Report: Hiroshima Phantom - Japan Jittery About N Korea's H-Bomb Fly-Over

In the event of North Korea deciding to test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean, Tokyo is not ruling out the possibility that it could be delivered by a ballistic missile flying over Japanese territory, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told a news conference on Friday.

"We cannot deny the possibility it may fly over our country," Onodera said.

He added that in view of its recent advances in missile technology development, Pyongyang might conduct an H-bomb test using a medium-range or intercontinental ballistic missile.

Mr. Onodera’s statement came just hours after North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho told reporters at the UN that Pyongyang was considering the possibility of testing a powerful hydrogen bomb over the Pacific as an answer to what he deemed “aggressive US policy.”

News Report: UN Agencies Ramp Up Aid for Rohingya Refugees

Lisa Schlein

GENEVA — The United Nations estimates some 429,000 Rohingya refugees have fled violence in Myanmar for Bangladesh since August 25. As the number edges toward half-a-million, U.N. agencies are increasing life-saving assistance to desperate people living in squalid settlements.

The number of daily arrivals has fallen to about 1,000 from a high of 20,000 a day. Nevertheless, that steep decline in refugee numbers has done little to ease overcrowding in the makeshift Rohingya sites near two official camps in southeastern Bangladesh.

Authorities have allocated an 800-hectare area to new arrivals. The U.N. refugee agency says it is speeding up the distribution of plastic sheeting so as many people as possible can have some protection from monsoon rain and wind.

UNHCR spokesman Andre Mahecic says health is a major concern given the inclement weather, overpopulated camps and lack of essential relief.